Rate a Prairie Coneflower’s numbing power

Prairie Purple Coneflower and Mums

Purple coneflowers can stand alone in clumps or be companion plants. If I got this correct and sure hope I did——-The picture above is that of Echinacea purpurea( larger leaves) and the one below is Echinacea – angustifolia <—–do not know why that is so little.

purple Prairie Coneflower

coneflower prairie purplePrairie Purple ConflowerThis Prairie Purple Coneflower is a native of North America and has easy care. About 2-3′ tall and can be planted in sun or part shade.

My grandmother was a wildcrafter and she tested the potentcy of a coneflower by it’s numbing behavior. She would taste a bit of the root or stem and depending on the numbness in her tongue, she would rate the plant. She found the Echinaceas of the plains region to be stronger than those in NC. She would proclaim it a very good Echinacea if her tongue was very numb.

She told me stories of how the Indians had used the root juices to make poultices for horses and humans.  They would also hold the leaves against their teeth for toothaches.

If you would like to read more about the healing properties, you can visit this SITE. I found it full of useful information on Echinaceas. I don’t promote that site as I know nothing about it but did so much enjoy the article.

I read all day trying to find proof that coneflowers protect us against the cold and flu season. All I can tell you is that something new about this subject is discovered often and the only constant is that the Indians knew best how to use it. Ha! Always goes back to ancient history doesn’t it? We don’t discover new stuff we just learn how to use what we got already.

There are potency differences in the varieties of coneflowers and the way they are prepared. There are many variables and for any particular one to be effective; you must get it from a reliable source and take the concentration needed for your symptoms. Weak concentrations don’t seem to do any good. Brushing your teeth with coneflower paste won’t do much but give you pretty teeth. Ok, well maybe it will numb your gums a bit and aid those with sensitive teeth.

Ok–so here is one theory,  supposedly Echinacea helps the body produce more interferon. The interferon signals the attack cells to reproduce themselves in great numbers so they can seek and destroy viruses or infection before the virus makes you miserably sick.

In layman’s terms, it would be like hiring more firefighters so they could go out and destroy sparks before they became fires.

Now before you start taking lots of coneflower juice and powders, there are things you need to know. Don’t take it consistently cause some studies have shown that it can cause a weakening of your immune system in larger or more consistent doses.

Seems like the most beneficial times to take it are when your symptoms first appear or when you think someone around you has been exposed thus–exposing you as well.

Purple coneflowers

This article is not written as a professional piece of advice. I have no claim to authority on the subject. I’m just a curios person who goes on a internet search to see what’s new on whatever topic crosses my path of curiosity for the day. Today, it was coneflowers.

I did find an interesting article about bovines and Echinacea. Seems that this flower will accelerate the mitosis process of cells in bovines. I’m sure that will come in handy next time we take a cow to the  moon–just kidding. All knowledge is good. That joke is a take on how knowledge was perceived back in the 60’s and I was in elementary school. The NASA program was being pushed like crazy and everything from the drink Tang to plastic was being credited with the discoveries made in our zeal to reach the moon.

President Obama remembers Tang!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. I wish I had known about the numbing properties after I puncture my finger on a Coneflower seedhead while collecting seeds.


  2. The jury’s always out on natural remedies as it seems unless it’s chemically synthesised or similar many assume it doesn’t work.

    Aside, I think it’s THE perfect garden flower. I love the reflexed petals; Echinacea ‘R’ Us!


  3. Heather says:

    I love coneflower purely for it’s beauty and reliability! But it seems a true bonus to have all the other good info too! I wonder if it will help a mini donkey in his time of need? Can’t hurt to find out!


  4. atiredwife says:

    I had no idea! Thanks!


  5. joey says:

    I never knew about the numbing factor but makes sense, Anna. Fine post, interesting topic, and lovely photos.


  6. I’ve never thought to try coneflower that way! It’s interesting how much of the old folklore about plants is still relevant.


  7. I always wondered about the connection between the name of that flower and the stuff on the front of the pharmacist’s counter. Now I know. Thanks to you!!


  8. Urban Green says:

    Very nice post, Anna. I didn’t know about coneflowers. Thanks for posting and the pictures are great!
    BTW I love your blog!


  9. Urban Green says:

    Very nice post, Anna. I didn’t know about coneflowers. Thanks for posting and the pictures are great!


  10. Noelle says:

    How wonderful that such a beautiful plant has wonderful medicinal properties as well. Thank you for sharing such great information.


  11. Tatyana says:

    Gorgeous flowers Anna and interesting facts!


  12. Catherine says:

    I really didn’t know too much about Echinacea other than I remember a few years ago everyone taking it to fight off colds. I’d never heard of biting it to see it’s numbing power. I don’t think I’d ever really paid that much attention to the differences between the Echinaceas either, I really like the wildflower type.


  13. Jen says:

    Your findings agree with the things I’ve been reading about this plant, Anna. I never knew that it was numbing! For awhile I was putting some drops of the extract under my tongue whenever I felt a tickle in my throat. Sometimes the sore throat went away and sometimes it didn’t. Better to mix it with OJ – it does a good job of hiding the taste which is really bitter!
    Didn’t you get a numb feeling? I want to learn more about wildcrafting. One of my heroes is Ila Hatter and I’m afraid if I wait too long, she’ll no longer be teaching on the subject. She’s the best here in NC and she’s in the Pocahontas lineage. She’s inherited the information.


  14. Mary Delle says:

    Didn’t know the numbing effect of the root. Always did to have information from grandmothers who know these things. I love coneflowers. Everything about them, the color, the center, the leaves is to my liking. But I’ve got themin the wrong be, now.Need to try another spot. Your look great.
    I have to move plants all the time to find the right spot. I’ve got white coneflowers too and even a green one. Love them all as well.


  15. Miss Daisy says:

    Fantastic pictures! I was truly fascinated to read how your grandmother determined the plant’s potency by the numbing it made on her tongue! Very cool indeed. What a neat teacher you had of nature. You are so right, the Indians knew far more than we will ever know. Thanks for all of the info.
    Wished I had paid more attention to her stories. She was on my mother’s side.


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